Tents & Staging

The use and proposed placement of any tents or other structures on Town property must be approved in advance by the Town as some parks and roadways may contain underground wires and other equipment and some structures, such as tents and stages, may require permits.

Applying for a Building Permit

The Ontario Building Code outlines regulations that must be followed when tents, stages and portable bleachers are being used.  Details on the proposed use of such structures should be included in the Special Event Planning Form so staff can determine if building permits are required.  As an example, a tent or tents on a site with an aggregate area of over 60 meters square and any stage over 100 square feet are required to have a Building Permit under the Ontario Building Code.  These permits are required on private and public property.  Building Permits can be acquired by submitting an Application for a Permit to Construct or Demolish at least three weeks prior to the event.  Documents required to accompany this application include owner’s authorization, and two copies of the site plan (including all structures on the property; proposed tent(s), staging and portable bleachers; and potential washrooms).  Refer to the section on Site Plans for additional information.

The Ministry of Labour has developed guidelines on temporary performance/event structures, these guidelines provide the best practices in regard to design, planning, erection/construction, maintenance and disassembly.  The Temporary Performance/Event Structures Safety Guidelines for the Live Performance Industry is available at through the Ministry of Labour’s website .

Fees

Organizers will be required to pay a processing fee when an Application for a Permit to Construct or Demolish is submitted.  Please consult the Building Department or Customer Service for current information about fees.

Inspections

Once a Building Permit is issued, event organizers must to contact the Building Department directly to arrange any required inspection(s) for any tent(s), stage(s), bleachers or washroom(s) both prior to the event (after the structure are completely assembled and in place) and after the structures have been removed.

Fire Prevention Measures

In accordance with the Ontario Fire Code:

  • barbecues must be at least 3 meters (10 feet) from any tent or other structures
  • all tents need to have fire extinguisher(s) present and be in compliance with the Fire Code, Section 2.9 Tents and Air-Supported Structures
  • all drapes, curtains and other decorative materials, including textiles and films used in a tent or stage must meet the requirements for a high degree of flame resistance NFPA 701 “Standard Methods of Fire Tests for Flame-Resistant Textiles and Films”  
  • hay, straw, shavings or similar combustible materials, other than that necessary for the daily feeding or care of animals, is not permitted within a tent or air-supported structure used for an assembly, except sawdust and shavings which may be used if kept moist
  • smoking and open flame devices are not permitted in a tent or air-supported structure

Digging/Staking

Digging or staking on Town property is prohibited unless written approval is obtained from the appropriate department.  Several Town properties contain underground wiring, platforms, and other systems which may be compromised by digging or staking.  Please include requests to dig or stake noting the specific areas with the submission of a Site Plan, refer to Site Plans for more information.

It is the event organizers’ responsibilities to obtain utility locates prior to penetrating the ground. A copy of the locates must be included in the site plan.